Crime in Hong Kong
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The woman was robbed outside Kowloon City Plaza. Photo: Handout

Hong Kong police arrest man in connection with robbery of homeless woman by bicycle duo who made off with HK$16,000

  • Police say man, 28, intercepted outside his flat in Mong Kok and detained on suspicion of robbery
  • Citywide search is under way for the other suspect, a friend of the arrested man
Hong Kong police have arrested one of two bicycle-riding robbers suspected of snatching a waist pouch containing HK$16,000 (US$2,038) from an elderly street sleeper about 10 days ago.

The force on Friday said the 28-year-old man was intercepted outside his flat in Mong Kok on Wednesday and detained on suspicion of robbery – an offence punishable by up to life imprisonment.

Only a few hundred Hong Kong dollars were found in his home, police said. In the flat, officers seized clothes the suspect was allegedly wearing at the time of the hold-up.

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The man is the holder of a recognisance form, a temporary identification document issued by the Immigration Department that permits the bearer to remain in the city but not work.

As of Friday morning, the suspect was still being held for questioning.

Inspector Chan Chi-chiu of the Kowloon City criminal investigation unit said the two suspects were identified after officers pored over security camera footage and carried out a comprehensive probe into the August 22 robbery.

He said a citywide manhunt was under way for the other suspect, a friend of the arrested man.

Chan also appealed for witnesses and anyone with information on the Kowloon City robbery to contact officers via 3661 7848.

The robbery occurred at about 3am on August 22 when the 74-year-old woman was sitting on a flight of stairs outside Kowloon City Plaza sorting used cardboard at the junction of Lion Rock Road and Carpenter Road.

“One of the robbers covered her eyes from behind while the other snatched her waist bag,” Chan said.

The pair fled on bicycles before officers arrived. The woman was unhurt in the incident.

The waist bag contained HK$16,000 she had received from her son the day before.

The woman is among street sleepers who collect used cardboard for extra money outside Carpenter Road Park in the district.

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Separately, the co-owner of a frozen meat store, who claimed he had been knocked unconscious in a public toilet in the New Territories and robbed of about HK$100,000, was in police custody on Friday after being arrested on suspicion of misleading officers.

Police were called to the toilet at Shek Wu San Tsuen in Sheung Shui at about 1.30am on Thursday when a villager found the injured man, 23.

The man claimed that he was robbed of a gold necklace and a ring and the assailant took his car keys, unlocked the vehicle and stole about HK$100,000 from his bag in the car, according to the force. A brick broken into two pieces was found in the toilet.

He was sent to North District Hospital and later discharged.

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The man said he tried to deposit about HK$200,000 in takings into a bank account via an automated teller machine in Fanling late on Wednesday night, but the daily limit via ATM was HK$100,000.

He then deposited half of the money, went for a car ride and planned to deposit the remaining cash after midnight. He then drove to the village where he was robbed.

A source said the man’s claim did not match with the police investigation and officers arrested him on Thursday afternoon.

He was detained on suspicion of misleading police by giving false information – an offence punishable by up to six months in jail.